A Cedar Rapids man is hoping to one day have his vision fully restored after finding out a microscopic worm was living inside his left eye. The worm likely crawled inside John Matthews’ body during one of his many hunting expeditions to foreign countries. When his eyesight became hazy in January of this year, Matthews went to the doctor – who found the worm in the middle of the retina.
“It’s so small, you couldn’t see it or feel it,” Matthews said. “I was never freaked out by it when they said, ‘You’ve got a worm in your eye.’ I wasn’t like, ‘Get it out.’ It was just, ‘Alright, what do we do now?'” Doctor James Folk at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, who diagnosed the problem, used a laser to shoot the worm which was swimming around inside John’s eye.
“It actually lives underneath the retina of the eye and crawls around and eats the retina,” Folk said. There are only about 15 known cases like this in the world. The worm inside Matthews’ eye is now dead and will decompose over time. Matthews does computer exercises to strengthen his eye. His vision has improved, but may never return to normal.
By Mark Geary, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids